also known as
The Plan of Happiness
It’s been said that for every complex issue there’s always a simple solution – and that the simple solution is always WRONG.
So it is in regards to God’s judgments for the ultimate destiny of mankind. It’s not just a simple solution of “Heaven or Hell” because that would negate the justice of God. Every person is unique and so there are many shades of judgment necessary for perfect justice to be served. Jesus made this very clear when He said “In my Fathers house there are many mansions“. This diagram shows Gods plan for the human family from a “location destination” point of view. The diagram helps get your bearings but is not able to present the total plan of God that includes Christ’s complete role and the moral path God has outlined for our safety.
Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants is the most profound doctrinal Revelation ever given to mankind, of which we have record (IMO). In it, the effects of the future judgments of God, the destiny of the earth, and the destiny of mankind, are outlined with crystal clarity. At least some of this knowledge was on the earth in ancient times but was lost until revealed again to both Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in an “open vision” on February 16, 1832.
When God clothed our native “intelligence” with a spirit body, we became a part of His vast family and lived in His presence for eons before receiving our physical body in mortality. We were aware of the creation and preparation of the earth, provided our input into the process and looked forward with great anxiety and joy to the day when we could actually be physically born into it. We waited and prepared a very long time for this, for this small pinprick in time when all that we learned, all that we planned, would be put into execution. Part of the mortal experience is that we lose our memories of the pre-mortal time – while still retaining our individual personalities, native talents, and moral propensities. We were also aware of the tremendous risks a level playing field would imply. We could lose. We could choose wrong. But most of us, two thirds of us, trusted in our Fathers plan and were confident and maybe even over confident, of our abilities and advanced preparation, so we choose to be born into mortality. However, the other third rebelled and so were sent to earth without mortal birth. They preferred the “safer” plan of Lucifer who guaranteed success by replacing moral free agency with a guarantee of forced success. Lucifer had proposed we trade in our freedom to make our own moral choices – and have him installed as our king, and proposed that he receive all power and honor in his alternate plan.
MORTALITY ON EARTH
So now we are here, on our own, having left our Fathers house. He knew that leaving was best for us to learn about good and evil by our own personal experience and He carefully provided a plan for us to return to Him. We have the ability here to choose right from wrong, and God provides that we can choose Him by accepting His son Jesus Christ, and His atonement which can make us clean again from our inevitable mistakes (sins) and worthy to return to our God and Father that made us. However, for right now it is still war — a war between Gods plan and Lucifer’s plan. Lucifer lost the war when Jesus successfully accomplished His mission on earth and yet the battle is not over, until the end of the world. Lucifer is miserable about his defeat but wants to inflict as many casualties as possible while he still can. This is because of pride, ego, revenge, and bitterness. His legions currently have us mortals outnumbered 6 to 1 and they’ve had almost 6000 years of practice in influencing the minds of men and women and binding them down with the chains of ignorance, bad habits, chemical and emotional dependency, lies, various sin, and outright deception. Yet we have within us the real power that our enemy can only dream about. We have physical power because of our bodies and we have the God of heaven as an all powerful ally that we can call to our aid. Once armed with the truth of God we can unmask the enemy and destroy him, crush him.
PARADISE and SPIRIT PRISON
The next phase of our existence is to go either to Paradise or Spirit Prison. There is a preliminary judgment that occurs at death that determines the condition we inhabit in the spirit world, the power that we have, and the company we keep. Here are the basic classifications of those in the Spirit World:
The unbaptized righteous who have sought the will of God with faith are placed with others of the same persuasion. They heard about and accepted Jesus Christ while in mortality, at least somewhat, but had no opportunity for baptism. They also have joy and rest from earthly temptations and sorrows. Yet they look forward to accepting baptism and to their resurrection day and in the meantime are very busy organizing and promoting Gods Kingdom in the spirit world in whatever way they can. Eventually, when their time comes, each of these receive and accept their baptism, and other sacred covenants, by a living proxy in the Holy Temples of God. Then, as they are worthy, they become just like those of step 1 above.
Well intentioned people who never heard of Jesus or His gospel while living on the earth, including children. In the spirit world they hear, are glad for it, and accept it. Almost all people of this class accept Jesus while on the other side and join with those of step 2. From the perspective of being in the spirit world, accepting the gospel of Christ is pretty much a no-brainer. All those of step 1-3 go on to receive a Celestial resurrection and live on a Celestialized earth – the understanding of which surpasses human comprehension.
Good people who nevertheless rejected the true gospel plan while in mortality. They may have heard about it but chose to ignore it for selfish reasons. In some cases they were deceived by Lucifer because they refused to cultivate the presence of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Almost all of these accept the true plan of Christ in the spirit world but they cannot accept a proxy baptism in the spirit world that they rejected in mortality, so their advancement potential is forever limited. They cannot join those of step 1. These inherit a Terrestrial resurrection and dwell together in eternity on a distinct sphere from those of Celestial or Telestial resurrection. The Terrestrial world is way more advanced and beautiful than our present earth. It is also a distinct upgrade from the Telestial sphere of existence.
The dead who were and remain outright wicked and evil are confined and restricted in their actions so they can not hurt or bother anyone. In mortality they loved to hurt and oppressed others. They thought they were “winning” but their “victories” at this point ring very hollow as they realize all their efforts were misspent. They may have had it for a day but they eventually come to realize that the meek and humble inherit the earth FOREVER. The wicked continue to associate with and be influenced by the evil spirits that followed Lucifer prior to mortality. However now they are all powerless, slaves to evil, literally in prison and can do nothing about it and, as a result, are in pain of both mind and spirit. They are not looking forward to facing God at the final judgment day where they know they must directly pay for each and every one of their sins – with the exact same level of suffering as Christ had in Gethsemane and on the cross. Eventually, those of a Telestial resurrection inherit a sphere of Telestial glory which is still far, far more advanced and wonderful than our present earth.
Everyone who has ever been born on the earth gets resurrected. It is their right, for keeping their “first estate” (i.e. agreeing to come to earth) in the pre-mortal world. The resurrection comes through the merits of Jesus Christ. He broke the bands of death for EVERYONE and this is why I said earlier that Lucifer has already been defeated. Everyone who has a body has power over those who do not, both now and especially in the eternities of time. The resurrection itself is more that just getting a body back again because a resurrected body is always a perfected body with no flaws that also comes with various new powers. However, not all resurrected bodies are equal in the sense of the power that is granted at the time of the resurrection. All of these potential powers are not defined in completeness but do include:
C1 = Celestial resurrection with eternal marriage (including C2 C3)
C2 = Celestial resurrection with temple covenants (including C3)
C3 = Celestial resurrection with baptismal covenant
T1 = Terrestrial resurrection
T2 = Telestial resurrection
~ indicates “to a lesser degree”